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Showing posts from 2017

Insist On The Truth

Why do we lie? That's a compelling question worth exploring. I once read that on average we tell about 26 lies a day. That's a lot of lying. But as leaders, don't we rely on our people to tell the truth? Aren't they (and our customers, and our families!) relying on US to tell the truth? What if it's not exactly our fault? What if we can dramatically reverse the amount of lies we tell by adding a bit of mindfulness? I like this video. It involves behavioral science and while it would be nice to have even more research on this, I do find the evidence compelling that very often we lie unconsciously. Watch the video and see what you think. Interesting experiment? What opportunities can you think of where you work to wake-up the moral foundation in yourself and in the people in your life? How can you remind people that you are counting on the truth? We all must communicate effectively to achieve the results that we want. That means finding, and delivering,

Talk About The Change You Want

Do you secretly want to change something? It's bugging you, aggravating you, annoying you, standing in your way and you just want it to be different? Change is tough. One necessary part of changing something is to talk about it. Talk about it with people who can make a difference. Talk about it with people who feel your pain. Talk about it. If you want to change it, talk about it. Then get busy. -- doug smith

Avoid the Damage

I know how it feels to fail to communicate. For too long I would keep my feelings to myself. Too many times my thoughts were secret. All too often my silence would be assumed as agreement when that simply was not true. No more. I've focused on improving, on developing my communication skills, and whenever possible, to help other people with theirs. Because it's so important. In many ways, it's the whole ball game. Fail to communicate and how will you ever get what you want? Fail to communicate and how will you manage to make a positive difference in the world? Few things hurt more or do more damage than failure to communicate. I'm still learning how to communicate more effectively. How about you? -- doug smith

Powerful Silence

I often quote Susan Scott ("Fierce Conversations") who said, "Let silence do the heavy lifting." It's powerfully useful. Those awkward silences are times to think, times to process, times to remain curious. Today I'd like to add this: We rush to fill the silence. We awkwardly walk away. We miss the silent opportunity. It's not a time to hurry, it's a time to remain mindful. Be there. Process. Listen. Our first reactions are often less than optimal. Let your thinking and your emotions percolate. Let them brew. Explore, discover, something that might be new. Silence is too powerful to waste. Use the gift that it brings. -- doug smith

Communication Skills Training

We specialize in workshops that help people get things done without ticking each other off. Mostly, that means helping people communicate more effectively. To bring one of our workshops to your location, please contact us at: Here is a selection of our most popular, and successful workshops: Communication Boot Camp -  How to Communicate for the Results You Want  - One day workshop to help you develop the skills you need to create deeper, more effective conversations, build stronger relationships, and communicate with tact, respect, diplomacy, and professionalism. Add a second day to develop more productive meetings and learn how to deliver more powerful and influential presentations. It's Not About the Slides... Powerful Presentation Skills  -  Get beyond the slides and into the hearts and minds of your audience. Whether you make one presentation a year or one every day, how you communicate during a presentation is either propelling

Listen More

How much time did you spend listening today? Mouth shut. Eyes alert. Body turned toward the person talking. Mind open to all except the inner judge. That inner judge can shut up for now, it's time to listen. Breathless, curious, daring to wonder - listening. Motionless, fascinated, unattached - listening. We crave that level of listening and hardly ever receive it, so give it, give it, give it generously: listen. I've never met anyone who thought they were listed to too much. Give them more: listen. -- doug smith

Listen Thru The Quiet

Sometimes it's quiet. Sometimes no one is talking. Listen anyway. Listen with your eyes. Listen with your body. Listen with your heart. Quiet may not even mean what you think, so listen. Let the silence sing a song you eventually understand. Silence is your friend. It's a great place to rest and listen. Listen in the silence -- you might be surprised at what you hear. -- doug smith

Body Language

Figure out what your body language is saying and your words will come much more easily. -- Doug Smith

Voice Tone Extreme

Here's a funny video that shows (in a small way) the importance of voice tone and how we can counter our message with neutral sounding words. John Cena Teaches Hugh Jackman Reverse Trash Talking


Do you paraphrase when you're listening? Communication is a two-way dynamic. It's so easy to assume that we're being understood. More often than not, the door to misunderstanding is open wider than we know. People read between the lines. Attention wanders. We make stuff up. Clear the fog. Listen actively for clarity. It's so important to understand. I don't think we can ever reach a meaningful and fair agreement with someone UNTIL we understand them. Completely. Clearly. Without a hidden agenda or misrepresentation. I will do my best to paraphrase someone I am in dialogue with so that I can clarify MY misunderstandings and help them make their meaning clear. I crave that understanding. How about you? Are you actively paraphrasing the people you listen to? I don't know what you've heard until you tell me. What do you think? -- Doug Smith

Photos from Baltimore Communications Workshop

Ask For A Deeper Conversation

You've been there -- stuck in small talk. Circles upon circles of who-cares kind of banter. Sports, the weather, political situations you can't change. Blabber. I don't wait for it to change on its own, because it won't, unless you're talking with a highly skilled conversationalist. And, if you're not, it's up to you. Take the conversation deeper. Ask questions. Find out how your conversational partner feels. Find out what they think. Dig deeper. It's as if you are conducting the best interview ever, with no secret agenda. You're not there to embarrass or expose anyone -- you just want to understand them. And, only after THAT has happened, help them to understand you as well. Ask for a deeper conversation and see what happens. Show the way. I find that my CLUES to success helps here: - Create agreements - Listen with curiosity - Understand the facts and feelings - Express yourself clearly and positively - Share responsibility for su

Can You Talk About it?

If we can talk about it, we can deal with it. It all stacks up. We face conflict around every corner. Even from people who with think are our closest friends and allies, we occasionally (daily?) feel the discomfort of disagreement. It's a time to stretch. It's a time to learn. It's a time to start and sustain conversations that reach for understanding, even when agreement is our of view. When we can understand each other, we can begin to dig the conversation deeper into new territory. We can feel each other's pain, appreciate each other's passion, and calculate sensibly each other's logic. If we can talk about it, we can deal it. No matter how big the problem. No matter how distant the goal. Find the person who troubles you the most and start that conversation. You'll be glad that you did, if you listen to understand. What do you need to talk about today? -- Doug Smith

To Solve A Problem: Talk About It

Most problems are hard to solve unless you talk about it. Whatever is standing in your way, my advice is to get over it, get under it, get around it, just for heaven's sake talk about it. Start the conversation. That's where great things begin. -- Doug Smith

Ten Years!

It's the ten year anniversary of the formation of doug smith training! Thank you all the wonderful clients and customers and learners! Let's keep learning! -- Doug Smith

Talk About It

Once you realize what you need to take about with another person, talk about it! Delaying the conversation will not help. Ignoring the need will hurt the situation. Talk about it. -- Doug Smith

Pictures from This Week's Workshops

The Process Gets Easier

Once you've figured out your goal the process gets easier. -- Doug Smith

Start the Conversation

Are you putting off an important conversation? I do it sometimes. It ends up nagging at me. The thing to do is talk. Get the subject open. Start the conversation. Delayed conversations don't get easier. Now is the time . -- Doug Smith


I specialize in workshops to help you solve problems and achieve your goals by sparking and developing your creativity, clarity, courage, and compassion in these key areas: - leadership - project management - communication - productivity - creative and performing arts I take a customized approach to bringing sharply focused, action-based workshops to organizations. How much time do you have to train your people to dramatically improve their skills at solving problems and achieving your goals? Here is a selection of my most popular, and successful workshops: Supervising for Success  - Two day workshop for front line leaders. You'll start on your goals and create the alignment and traction you need to achieve them. Ideal for front line leaders in any organization, we have deep experience (and time-tested tools) especially suited for leaders in the retail and service industries. $149 per participant. Communicating for Results  - One day workshop to help you develop

Identify the Vision

Identify the vision and the goal is easier to see. -- Doug Smith

No Permission Needed

We don't need permission to live creatively. -- Doug Smith

There Is Always More

That feeling that we get: "is that all there is?" is just a sign to set a better goal. You are never done. There is always more. -- Doug Smith

Bigger Goals

Always be ready to set a bigger goal. -- Doug Smith

Set Quality Goals

The quality of your goals changes the quality of your life. -- Doug Smith

Problem Solving and Success

We don't have to solve every problem to be successful, but it's hard to be successful without solving some problems. -- Doug Smith

What if?

What if we talked about our goals instead of what we do for a living? -- Doug Smith

Create Those Conversations

The conversations we avoid are the conversations we most need to create. -- Doug Smith

Room To Fly

Your wings won't work until you make room to fly. -- Doug Smith

How Matters

How you achieve your goals matters as much as what goals you achieve. -- Doug Smith

Creative Emotions

Creative inspiration can come from any emotion. -- Doug Smith

Weed That Garden of Goals

Few things are more confusing than living with competing goals.  Find some clarity and direction, then weed that garden! -- Doug Smith

What If That Feeling Is Wrong?

Blue Static Be careful of embracing the feeling without considering the cause. -- Doug Smith